Radio 1 to play edited version of Fairytale Of New York

Kirsty MacColl

BBC Radio 1 will play an edited version of Christmas favourite Fairytale Of New York in a bid to avoid offending listeners.

The Pogues' gritty festive hit with Kirsty MacColl is a Christmas staple, though in recent years it has been the focus of debate over its lyrics.

The song includes the words "faggot" and "slut".

This year, Radio 1 will play an alternative version of the track, with the record label providing different lyrics sung by MacColl.

It is understood Radio 1 bosses were wary of offending younger listeners with derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

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Shane Macgowan Of The Pogues With Kirsty Maccoll, Shane Macgowan Of The Pogues With Kirsty Maccoll (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 01: FLEADH Photo of Kirsty MacCOLL and POGUES and Shane MacGOWAN, with Kirsty MacColl (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)
(Original Caption) Singer Kirsty MacColl who used to work with the Irish band 'The Pogues'. Her new album is called 'Tropical Brainstorm'. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kirsty Maccoll Performing With The Pogues - 1988, Kirsty Maccoll Performing With The Pogues - 1988 (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Kirsty MacCOLL (Photo by Kerstin Rodgers/Redferns)
English singer and songwriter Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000), UK, 3rd October 1979. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Kirsty MacCOLL (Photo by Kerstin Rodgers/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 01: Photo of Kirsty MacCOLL; posed, in car (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 01: Posed portrait of singer Kirsty MacColl in August 1981. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: FLEADH Photo of Kirsty MacCOLL (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)
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Radio 2 will play the original song, but said it will continue to monitor listeners' views. 6 Music said it has made an edited version available and will allow presenters to make the choice.

In a statement, the BBC said: "We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience."

Last year, the BBC defended using the unedited version of the 1987 song in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special.

The characters of Nessa Jenkins and Uncle Bryn sang it on the show.

Gavin & Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones, who plays Nessa, also defended using the song.

She told The Sun: "It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were. Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe.

"So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful. But by the same token, they're not necessarily going to be completely politically correct or be aware of political correctness."

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